October 24, 2013 at 4:52 PM HST - Updated July 21 at 11:55 AM
IRVINE, Calif. – The Big West Conference announced its men's basketball preseason media poll with the University of Hawai'i picked to finish in sixth place. Meanwhile, senior forward Christain Standhardinger was selected to the six-player preseason all-conference team.
UC Irvine was tabbed the favorite to win the 2013-14 title. The Anteaters received nine of 24 first-place votes and 183 points for the top slot in a tightly contested poll. The next three schools were separated by a mere three points. UC Santa Barbara claimed six first-place votes and 167 points for second place, while Cal Poly garnered 165 points and three first-place nods for third. Three-time defending regular season champion Long Beach State held down the fourth spot with five first-place tallies and 164 points.
UC Davis collected 114 points for fifth place, followed by Hawai'i in sixth (110 points) and Cal State Northridge (89 points) in seventh. The Matadors also received the lone remaining first-place vote. Rounding out the poll were Cal State Fullerton (57 points) in eighth place and UC Riverside (31 points) in ninth.
The Rainbow Warriors, under the direction of fourth-year head coach Gib Arnold, return six letterwinners and four redshirt players from last year's squad that finished 17-15 overall and in fifth place (10-8) in its inaugural season in the Big West. A group of seven talented newcomers also join this year's squad.
Standhardinger garnered preseason accolades from the Big West after an outstanding junior campaign in which was a first-team all-conference selection. Last year, the native of Munich, Germany led UH in scoring (15.8 ppg), field goal percentage (.510) and steals (45), while finishing second in rebounding (7.9) and double-doubles (9).
Joining Standhardinger on the six-player preseason all-conference team were Mike Caffey (Long Beach State), Will Davis II (UC Irvine), Chris Eversley (Cal Poly), Corey Hawkins (UC Davis) and Alan Williams (UCSB). Each of those players with the exception of Davis II were 2012-13 All-Big West First Team recipients.
UH will host an exhibition game versus BYU-Hawai'i on Halloween Night before officially opening the 2013-14 regular season against Tennessee State on Friday, Nov. 8 in the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic.
2013-14 Big West Preseason Media Poll 1. UC Irvine (9) – 183 points 2. UC Santa Barbara (6) - 167 3. Cal Poly (3) - 165 4. Long Beach State (5) -164 5. UC Davis - 114 6. Hawai'i - 110 7. Cal State Northridge (1) - 89 8. Cal State Fullerton (6) - 57 9. UC Riverside - 31 ( ) First-place votes
Preseason Media All-Conference Team Mike Caffey, G, Long Beach State Will Davis II, F, UC Irvine Chris Eversley, F, Cal Poly Corey Hawkins, G, UC Davis Christian Standhardinger, F, Hawai'i Alan Williams, F, UCSB